NEW HAVEN, Conn. ( WTNH) — Warm temperatures and sunny days come with an unfortunate side effect — a greater chance of fires.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the entire state, and that means that critical fire weather conditions are expected or occurring.

A combination of strong winds, dry ground, low relative humidity, and dry fuels will create a significantly elevated fire growth potential.

“Once you have a fire that’s ignited, in addition to adding more oxygen to that system, it’s going to push the heat in another direction,” said Frank Cervo with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Division of Forestry. “That can actually serve to preheat fuels in advance of ignition, and that can actually cause a cascading effect which causes a fire to spread.”

While the ingredients are there, a fire still needs a spark to start.

“[It could be] a cigarette butt tossed out the window that hits the right pocket of dry fuel, if a car’s been driving for a while, and it’s heated up and you park on top of some dry grass,” Cervo said.

Grills and firepits are also fire dangers if they aren’t watched closely. Open burns are not legal on days where fire danger is high.

The video below aired in our 7 p.m. newscast on April 12, 2023.